Moore wants to sell 'spineless' Rotherham players

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The Independent Football

Ronnie Moore has threatened a mass clear-out at Millmoor after Rotherham lost the chance of an FA Cup pay-day against Manchester United.

The manager condemned the 2-1 third-round replay defeat at home to Third Division Northampton Town on Tuesday night as "the most gutless performance" in his time in charge. Moore believes he needs to act immediately to ensure that the Yorkshire club, who are 17th in the First Division, are not relegated.

Despite a nine-point buffer to the drop zone, built after a run of six wins in an unbeaten eight-match run before Christmas, Moore is clearly worried. "The way we are going we will not be Division One for too long and it is my job to sort it out," he said yesterday.

Rotherham would have received £265,000 for live television coverage and £50,000 from the Football Association for reaching the fourth round as well as their share of gate receipts from a sell-out crowd.

"How can you have fear when you are going to play Manchester United?" Moore asked. "How many more times are those players going to get the opportunity to play against them? They have taken away the dream for me and for everyone else.

"All I can do is apologise to everybody because no one is more upset than I am. It was a day I was looking forward to and one that has been taken away from me. That ranks as one of the worst moments of my life.

"Losing the opportunity to bring Manchester United to our ground, with the excitement of that week building up to the fourth round, makes me sick.

"I wish I could swap half of them and get them out because we are at a stage now where things need to be done and done very quickly.

"I smelled it at Northampton and then again at the weekend in Cardiff. Players need to come in and if it means I have to bring in players of the same standard as we have already got just to introduce new faces I will have to do it.

"I haven't wanted to do that but it needs freshening up - that was the last-chance saloon for an awful lot of them. We need something different because at the moment we are dire.

"That is the most gutless performance I have seen in my seven years at the club, it was spineless, effortless, there was a lack of desire and a lack of passion."

Moore even took the unusual step of singling out four senior players - Chris Swailes, Scott Minto, John Mullin and Stewart Talbot - for criticism.

"My players could not cope with the system we were playing against. I blame the two midfield players and the two centre-halves.

"We were playing a Third Division side not Real Madrid, although we made them look like Real Madrid at times," he said.